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The road to independence.

It may reconcile us to the protracted length of the war, that, by no other means could our independence be securely established, or our separation from the United States made real and complete. The plants of most rapid growth are the soonest to decay. If we had achieved our liberties with case we should have parted from them without difficulty. We should have valued our independence at the price it cost us, and if we had gained it after the first battle of Manassas, have been by this time on the road to reconstruction.

If there is a nation on the face of the earth which ever obtained permanent independence after a short war, we know not where to look for its history. We cannot make ourselves a new people in a day. We must go through a baptism of fire and blood; we must be subjected to the seven times-heated furnace of tribulation, and bear with patience the slow processes of moulding into new forms, before we can cease to be the things that we were.

The war has disclosed to us the true character and purposes of the people from whom we have separated, and in that disclosure has produced its unanswerable justification. It has also made known to us our own strength and resources. Who could have believed three years ago that the Confederate people were capable of such a resistance? We have found ourselves able to stand alone, even, while a colossal enemy strove to beat us down. We are learning to supply our own wants from our own mechanical and agricultural industry. We are acquiring that self dependence which is the only guarantee of independence. The longer the duration of the war the more perfect the training which our population will receive to minister to their own necessities, to avoid the pest, when peace comes, of Yankee and foreign artisans and tradesmen, who would corrupt our society and vote away at the ballot box the liberties and institutions they were unable to rob us of in the field.

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